Sunday, September 14, 2014

Magalluf: From mamading to marketing to Manu

According to the American Marketing Association (AMA), the definition of marketing (approved July 2013) is "the activity, set of institutions, and processes for creating, communicating, delivering, and exchanging offerings that have value for customers, clients, partners and society at large". Given that the association was formed in 1937, it appears to have taken it an inordinately long time to arrive at a definition as to why it exists, but be that as it may.

There was a marketing operation in Magalluf last week. Where?, I hear you ask. Not heard of that place before. Consequently, a marketing operation would be useful to grow a spot of awareness of the place. But no, we have of course all heard of Magalluf. Over and over and over and over ... . This was a different type of marketing operation. One, so some claimed last week, conducted by the Guardia Civil, but one, by implication, that was at the behest of someone or some other authority removed from the Guardia. A marketing consultant perhaps.

The operation (not formally named Operación Marketing) involved the rounding-up of a bunch of alleged ne'er-do-wells who had been engaged in a spot of drug dealing. Well, quite probably rather more than a spot. How, therefore, was this a marketing operation? Extrapolating from the AMA's definition, one might suppose that what was being inferred was that a set of institutions (Guardia and/or others) communicated an offering of ne'er-do-wells who were of value (because of their arrest) to the rest of us in society. Is this what was meant?

Of course, what one presumed was being suggested was that it was an operation to show that something was being done in Magalluf or that it was an operation to divert attention from things that have been done - like the arrest of three local police officers. It was all nonsense. The operation has been planned for a goodly amount of time and had nothing to do with other local difficulties. If there was any justification for the charge of a marketing operation, then it was that the full glare of publicity that was thrown on to the arrests. But publicity, as any good marketing person can tell you, is but one part of the marketing mix. People need to get their terminology right. And even if there was a sizable amount of publicity, what was so wrong? Drug dealers? Get rid of them.

What a sad evening it was. With the sound of the ghosts of Catalan invaders of yore wooing in the heavenly skies above Santa Ponsa, Manu signalled the end of his own conquest of Calvia town hall. To absolutely no one's surprise, he announced he wouldn't be running as mayor again. Cheers versus tears? Hmm. It was his fourth discourse to commemorate the fiestas of Rei En Jaume. "The number four represents the square ... the four elements and the realisation of ideas," he discoursed. Which was pretty deep stuff to be honest. Earth, water, air, fire. We had not previously been aware that Manu had been applying Aristotelian philosophy to his period in office. "It is time to be as objective as possible when providing the profit and loss account," he mixed metaphored in moving from the ancient Greeks to 101 accounting.

Manu did not avoid THAT subject, the one to do with the three local police officers - you might have heard about it. He could not ignore the seriousness of such an event, he went on, which was in keeping with his learning from the Greeks. The old boy Aristotle had after all invoked the four elements in his treatise "On Generation and Corruption", which is also known as "On Coming to Be and Passing Away". This alternative title seems rather apt. On coming to be mayor and passing away from being mayor. Manu's long goodbye has begun.

As he knows his marketing, Manu wove this into his accountancy theme by alluding to the successes. Which is what you would have expected. The trouble is that no politician is remembered for the positives, such as getting the street cleaners to run on time. They are remembered for the other stuff.

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